The Bejijan stream floods every year making agriculture in the agro-based economy of greater North-West Jorhat area an annual disaster. The road linking Mitha Aamtol with Baligaon Bhapolichuk in Dergaon constituency has never seen any development since Independence. Never were the villagers of about nine villages of the area ever privileged with potable water. And what not!
The villages, inhibited mostly by Scheduled Caste indigenous people, have only voted their representatives cutting across party lines over the past seven decades, but never received any attention to their perennial problems.
Every time election comes, political leaders make a beeline to the area not only to make tall promises, only to be forgotten for five years, but also to lay foundations for development work. The development initiatives remain often unimplemented though.
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And, the voters decide every time to vote for an alternative representative, only to be ditched again.
Dergaon’s Asom Gana Parishad MLA Bhabendra Nath Bharali too was no different. He promised the people dredging of the Bejijan before the 2016 elections and it never materialised over the past five years. The farms continued to reel under floods for nearly six months every year leaving the hard working farmers disappointed yet again in the harvest season.
Six months of floods are often followed by drought like situation with no irrigation facility to take to Rabi cultivation too.
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“Bhabendra Nath Bharali is our MLA. We’ve seen Sushila Hazarika and the late Aroti Kachari too as our representatives. But, nothing changed. Floods continued to ravage our produce. They all had promised to dredge the Bejijan, but it never materialised,” said Haren Das of Mitha Aamtol.
The Bejijan is also the only source of potable water for the villagers on its banks. “This is the only source of potable water. Some of the privileged households also have their own ponds and wells as source of water. And when the Bejijan floods, we are left with no other source of potable water,” said Arati Kalita, a housewife while fetching water from the stream.
A two-wheeler ride on Mitha Aamtol-Baligaon Bhapolichuk especially on a rainy day becomes so hazardous that even the expert rider gives a second thought before venturing out. It becomes equally bumpy during the drier days of the year making it an arduous experience for any traveler.
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“It feels like riding off-road on this road. Forget about four wheelers, even our two wheelers need frequent repairs because of the condition of the road … We have an MLA who also takes this same road to come begging for votes every five years. They promise to get the road repaired and black topped. But, we haven’t seen it once in our lifetime,” said Nakul Das, a youth riding a motorbike on the road.
For the North West Jorhat area that falls under the Dergaon assembly constituency, Sushila Hazarika, Aroti Kachari and Bhabendra Nath Bharali have become history. “We now look forward to the elections ahead and expect a sensible candidate from any of parties to vote for and get our grievances redressed some day over the next five years. Party does not matter to us. We look for a fit MLA to represent us,” added Haren Das.
The constituency will go to polls in the first phase on March 27.